School of Professional Studies

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Administration (MPA)


School of Professional Studies

Chief Instructor

Mary Piecewicz


This research paper explores the impact of relationships between lobbyists and both the USDA and HSS, and the impact these relationships have on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans that the agencies work together to create. The paper focuses specifically on the information the guidelines present in regard to red meat consumption, and the impacts this may have on American health, and healthcare costs associated. It was hypothesized that a relationship would be found between special interest groups and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and/or the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Research found there was a relationship between special interest groups and the USDA, but not between special interest groups and HSS. It was also hypothesized that one result of this relationship would be the absence of an explicit recommendation against red meat consumption in the published Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Research found that there was no recommendation against red meat consumption in the guidelines, but the impact of USDA and lobbyist relationships was not proven as a causal factor. Finally, it was hypothesized that the lack of a recommendation against red meat consumption would negatively impact the health of the American public at significant cost to the healthcare system, which research found to be true. This research is important because it demonstrates the ways in which American health is suffering, the impacts this has on healthcare expenditure, as well as the potential role the US government has in influencing American health either positively or negatively.



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